What a difference a year and a half can make. The last time we heard from Close to Home (CTH), they'd just released their label debut, Never Back Down, on Artery Recordings/Razor & Tie. Crisscrossing the United States to support the album (and previous releases Picture Perfect, One Chance, One Time Standby, Let It Be Known and Legends Live On) with bands such as We Came As Romans, Silverstein and Sky Eats Airplane, CTH were dealing with a lot of changes. Still coping with the death of their close friend and bass player Brad Andress after a battle with cancer, the band's rabid fan base was continuing to grow as the group were navigating the differences between putting out music on an independent label rather than on their own. As the members of Close to Home, which now include a new lead singer, ready the July release of their 2nd full-length album, Momentum, it is clear that their tuneful evolution and determination has made CTH one of the most unique musical entities in heavy rock.
Coming together in 2005, best friends JJ Cooper and Brad Andress hooked up with guitarist Josh Wells through MySpace. When they met, they realized they not only all liked the same music, but also had the same vision of how they wanted their band to sound - an amalgamation of metal, pop and rock. Singer Nick Stiens was found at a bar the guys hung out in ("he was in a cover band and we were like, that guy has a great voice," says Cooper) and drummer Travis Hartman was also a mutual friend who oddly enough, never let his buddies know he was a drummer even though they were looking for one. ("Thankfully, he finally said something," laughs Cooper). The band's goal was shared - to give 110% to their music career and never look back, only forward.
After putting out several self-released EPs, and the live album Legends Live On, which was the last recording to feature Andress, the band signed to Artery Recordings/Razor & Tie for the release of their first full-length record, Never Back Down. As the band were coming back together to record their second full-length, Momentum, singer Stiens got offered a full time gig at the fire station where he'd been a volunteer fire fighter. While his band mates were disappointed, they were characteristically supportive. "The way we are towards each other is that we act like brothers. Nick wanted to make the change and we weren't angry at all. The way we look at it, if he hadn't left, we wouldn't have found Andrew." Once again the Internet played a role in CTH's destiny, as Facebook was the catalyst in bringing new singer Andrew DeNeef (who was previously in Eventine) into the band as lead singer.